on the edge of something

It’s 4:00 AM; I can’t sleep. A strained shoulder and a pack of prednisone are to blame. I’ve started and finished a 350-page historical novel that’s been sitting bedside for weeks. I’ve read the book of James. I’ve prayed over my family. I’ve shed a few tears. And now, out of a restless need, I dare to open this blank page wanting to say something, but not completely sure I know what it is.

I’m on the edge of something.

There have been a lot of those edges lately, a lot of tossing and turning, reflecting and remembering, wondering and wishing my way through my nights.

I’m standing in between … teetering precariously on the edge of yesterday, just before the dawn breaks on today, and God pierces my edge with a truth I’m often prone to forget:

I still have a plan for your life, Elaine.

I am undone by the hushed voice that penetrates the darkness, so certain in my spirit that I have heard from his. This is the edge we share, God and me … a moment of teetering between things unseen and things perceived. And it is a very good place to stand, here in this hour …

On the edge of something, even if I cannot see it.

God and I have been on these edges before, all of my life in fact. He’s been with me from the beginning. And while I cannot remember a day when I was unaware of his presence, it wasn’t until I was in my mid-30s that I began to really open up my heart and my mind to understand the deeper things of God.

With two young toddlers in tow and a barely used high-school graduation Bible tucked under my arm, I dragged my soul to my first ever, in-depth Bible study in Little Washington, NC. It was Beth Moore’s To Live is Christ, a study on the witness and ministry of the Apostle Paul. Two weeks into the study, I remember lying on my bed in the parsonage on Respess St., Bible and study book wide-open, tears streaming down my face, with the most honest confession I could utter …

I am sorry, God. I have wasted so much time.

That was an edge for us, an exhilarating jump onto the next page of my life with Christ. Fifteen years later, I’ve yet to recover. I have loved standing next to Jesus on that edge of discovery. Every single minute we’ve shared on the pages of his Word has fed me, shaped me, and enlivened me for the road ahead.

Along the way I’ve been so privileged to share that road with countless others through my speaking, leading Bible studies and Sunday Schools, writing books, teaching Bible for four years in a 4th grade classroom, and shaping my own children with the truths I have learned.

It’s been my great joy, and it’s been for God’s good. I know that deep down. Truly.

But just now, right now, before the birds begin their morning chorus, I need to know that there is more. My body is weak and my mind is cluttered. I’m having trouble standing on this particular edge because I so long to see that which remains hidden. And that kind of blind faith sometimes feels just out of reach for me. The edge of something isn’t always as certain as I would like it to be.

How about you?

Where are you standing right now? What edge hosts your in-between? Has the new day brought with it a new hope, a fresh dispensation of daily grace and forward steps? Is your agenda filled with God’s? Has he made it clear to your heart what is dear to his? Is your edge a place of release or has it become, instead, a place of refuge? Is the uncertainty you have about tomorrow shattering your confidence therein?

If so, then might I lend you an old truth on a new day almost arrived?

God still has a plan for your life.

Despite the darkness. Despite what’s happened. Despite your flesh. God still thinks thoughts about you and would like nothing more than to stand on the edge with you as you prepare your heart for your next steps.

Fresh grace. Forward steps. The edge of something … more.

A very good place to stand here in this hour.

Welcome to today! 

As always, I pray for you God’s companioning peace for the journey,

24 Responses to on the edge of something

  1. Thank you Elaine! A GOD Word to me this morning, standing on the edge of today. I know there’s more but I can’t say more yet except thank you. Thank you for sharing.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Bev. God has not forgotten you! Prayers for your next edge with Him.

  2. Such a timely, God divine truth that HE DOES have a purpose for each of us! Thank you for that reminder dear one. Keep listening, keep writing, keep walking in obedience!

  3. As always Elaine, profound words from the mouth of God when He fill your heart with His thoughts! Very timely indeed. Today is an anniversary for me – one year in my new home. So I stand looking back, remembering my biggest fear with downsizing and leaving th every house my husband and I had built with our own hands was:
    The Logistics

    But as I stand and reflect back I can truly testify that God took care of all the logistics. He did all the work and all I did was trust Him.
    What I left behind was for a new generation raising another family in A new ministry. But God is in process of fulfilling this Scripture which He brought to me in my prayer closet this morning:

    Psalm 57
    1 Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me,
        for in You I take refuge.
    I will take refuge in the shadow of Your wings until the disaster has passed.
    2 I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills [His purpose] for me.
    10 For great is Your love, reaching to the heavens;
    Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.

    He is Faithful in all His ways!

    Thank you sweet friend for these precious words.

    Choosing Joy~
    Psal 126

    • In the shadow of his wings until the disaster has passed… oh how I needed to read that, friend. When we’re in the middle of the unknown, there is no better place to reside. I am glad to hear about your recent change. No doubt, God was waiting for you on that particular “edge”. He has something more in mind. Keep me posted!

  4. Wow. What a powerful post. I feel I’ve been on the edge for quite a while. Thank you for sharing. Your gift for words flows like water. It washes over me. Thank you.

    • No greater affirmation for my all-nighter than your words of grace here. Thank you for taking the time to say them. It seems many of us are suspended on the edge right now. Maybe it’s the changing seasons, our age, the culture climate, the sense that “life as we’ve known it” will never be again. Whatever the reason behind our edgy posture, it’s comforting to know we’re not standing there alone. So in addition to God being with us, we have each other. Lean in… there is more. Peace to you!

  5. wifeforthejourney:

    May God’s grace abound in both our intentional waiting and in my own inconsistency in pursuing Him. Being on the edge of something is both exhilarating and (often) terrifying. Glad to have you with me through it all! Love you,


  6. Elaine, what a wonderful delight it has been to reconnect with you and your dear parents and to find a whole new world in your writing and life! This is amazing and I am sharing! I used to love to hear your Dad use words and you have his gift and more!

    • That is high praise, sweet friend, far more than I deserve. What fun and fullness of joy it has been to rejoin you on the path of this gracious grace.

  7. Oh sweet elaine!! So grateful to be back in this blog space to see your gorgeous words of grace and encouragement penned! Praying you are well! Love this piece! So 2 things: 1) yes, I can relate. I, too, am on the edge of a new thing the Lord is doing. New season as we moved to a new town on the coast of NC last spring, then my sweet dad was diagnosed with cancer and went to be with jesus in December. Hardest, hardest loss. But your words are a balm as I remember my Jesus is doing a mighty new thing and as He stirs up spring on the land, He is stirring fresh seasons of healing and grace in my heart! He is soo so faithful!
    And 2) WHAT? You’re from little Washington?? My husband is from Creswell and we went to and met at ECU! My father in law’s wife is from little Washington and still returns often (they live in kitty hawk).
    So sweet to catch up with you! Thank you for sharing these words! Keep that pen flowing!
    Love and grace, mariel

    • How in the world are you? It is so, so good to hear from you. I’m not from Little Washington but spent 4 years there where my husband was the assistant pastor at First UMC. We then moved to Goldsboro, Fayetteville, and now reside in Laurinburg. Life moves us around, doesn’t it? I’m sorry to hear about the passing of your father. I’d love to reconnect further in the coming days. Peace to you!

  8. So needed and I truly believe God had you write this for me so that I would read it this very night. Thank you.

  9. This is the very word I needed to hear, at this early hour, and yet I haven’t slept a wink… I am waiting for the pails to be filled with precious water for the day’s use, watering parts of my garden that I can manage to reach at this unholy hour… cleaning the kitchen till it’s sparkling, because it is only during the night that the water comes out of the faucets. In a few hours, the water supply will stop. We are suffering from drought, and in the daytime, the faucets are dry. So while waiting, I decided to read your post (I was out of town last week when you wrote it, and wifi was erratic where I was.) Yes, I too feel I am on the edge of something, not quite knowing what it is, but knowing there is something in store. Thank you… I am at the moment going through a kind of holy discontent. Not being satisfied with my spirituality, yet never really giving up on God. I just want something more. Thank you, dear friend. Your words always speak to me at the time I need to hear a fresh word.

    • We’ve shared a few edges haven’t we, friend?! I’m praying for both of us in this season as I have been experiencing similar feelings. God’s got this!

  10. So thankful, Elaine, for the fresh grace God has for our forward steps. With changes ahead for us with Don’s coming retirement, I stand in need of that fresh grace. Blessings to you!

  11. Oh Elaine! Thank you so much for that! You have such an amazing gift from God that you’ve so wonderfully refined! I’m so thankful to know you and the other Olsens! These edges are kinda rough! Russ and I will miss you all very much! SO hope I will at least still be able to hear from you thru Facebook and your blog. Can’t seem to stop being concerned for the future of this sixth great-grand and his parents and grandparents!

    • Sweet Becky… you were one of the first people I met on the day we moved in! You went and bought shelf paper and took my kids to Cook Out. I will NEVER forget the kindness shown to us in those small acts of love. We have grown to love you and Russ like family. Please come see us in Benson!

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